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West Bengal told to return Rs 193 crore received under Ayushman Bharat

The Centre also pointed to the grant-in-aid, to the tune of Rs 193.34 crore, released to the state government towards 50% of the first tranche of the central government scheme.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2019, 08.08 AM IST
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Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal.
New Delhi: The Centre has asked the West Bengal government to return the Rs 193 crore it had received for the central government’s Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme, along with any interest earned, since the state has pulled out of it.

This follows the Mamata Banerjee-led state government’s failure to respond to a January 11 letter in which the Centre had urged it to reconsider its stand of pulling out of the scheme and requested for a meeting. The state, which has its own health insurance scheme for the poor—‘Swasthya Saathi’ scheme—was running Ayushman Bharat under a joint banner—Ayushman Bharat-Swasthya Saathi—but later withdrew from it to continue with its own.

“As we have not got any response in this regard, it is opined that the state government of West Bengal has decided not to reconsider its decision of withdrawal and discontinuance of AB – PM JAY,” chief executive officer of National Health Authority, Indu Bhushan, wrote in a letter to the additional chief secretary of West Bengal on February 11. ET has accessed this letter.

The Centre also pointed to the grant-in-aid, to the tune of Rs 193.34 crore, released to the state government towards 50% of the first tranche of the central government scheme. “You are requested to please arrange for refund of grant-inaid amount available with you along with any interest earned by you, if any, after adjustment of claim amount payable/paid for treatment of AB – PM JAY beneficiary families to National Health Authority’s escrow bank account,” Bhushan’s letter said.

Earlier, ET had reported that the Centre had asked the state to reconsider its stand.
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